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The King's Evil (Christopher Redmayne Mysteries) Paperback – January 15, 2011
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It’s a nicely convoluted plot, guessing whodunit or whydunnit is not easy, and the ending leaves the reader looking for the next in the series, if only to see how poor Jonathon Bale copes now he has to work for the King. One of the joys of Marston’s novels is the light touch of humour and Bale and Redmayne reacting to each other can make a reader laugh out loud. Highly recommended. (Historical Novels Review)
About the Author
Edward Marston was born and brought up in South Wales. A full-time writer for over thirty years, he has worked in radio, film, television and the theatre, and is a former chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association. He is the author of sixty crime novels set in seven distinct periods of history, and a master of historical fiction. He is the author of the hugely successful Railway Detective series.
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Set in 1666 London, the book opens with the Great Fire that destroyed much of London. Our leads in this story, Architect Christopher Redmayne and Constable Jonathan Bale, are two very different, yet very likable men. They are brought together unexpectedly by the murder of Sir Ambrose Northcott and team up to try and figure out who killed him and why. Christopher has designed a house for Sir Northcott, and Jonathan is the Constable for the area he was murdered in. While the two get off to a rocky start (both personally and in their investigation), they start to see they work well together as a team. Using vastly different sources, they are able to get enough information to piece together the mystery at a satisfying pace.
As for the mystery itself, I was pretty satisfied with the ending. I thought the beginning of the book had a great pace, and right after the murder things were moving right along, but then towards the end I felt like I was being left out a bit. In the last chapter Christopher puts everything together, but he doesn't explain himself. The big reveal scene was slightly confusing to me as I wasn't sure who was who (I won't go into it since I don't want to give anything away). Overall though, aside from feeling a little rushed at the end, I really enjoyed this book. I'll definitely be reading the second book in this series, and look forward to exploring some of Mr. Marston's other novels.
Christopher Redmayne is a young architect, and a perfect English gentleman.
Henry Redmayne, his brother is a rake more interested in pleasure than work.
Jonathan Bale is a London constable. He is a Puritan, and he is unhappy with the restoration of the British monarchy.
Penelope Northcott is the daughter of the murder victim. She promises to be Christopher's love interest in future installments of the series.
Sir Ambrose Northcott has engaged Christopher to design and build a house in London. When his lifeless form is found in the cellar of the unfinished house, Christopher feels responsible. Christopher decides to discover the identity of the culprit. His investigation uncovers a tangled plot which may even threaten the King himself.
Edward Marston is the pseudonym of Keith Miles. Early in his career Miles was a script writer for television and radio. I believe this experience is what makes Marston's novels such fun to read. And what I enjoy the most is the fantastic dialogue between the characters.
This was a great read, a page turner, and over too quickly. Another Marston novel is already on my to read list.
As it happens the two main characters,Christopher Redmayne and Constable Bale, play off each other quiet well. A little history is thrown in with a murder mystery for good measure. The inclusion of Redmaynes brother as a slight comic relief was a plus. I look forward to reading the second in the series.